Geographic Migration of Black and White Families Over Four Generations

Patrick Sharkey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article analyzes patterns of geographic migration of black and white American families over four consecutive generations. The analysis is based on a unique set of questions in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) asking respondents about the counties and states in which their parents and grandparents were raised. Using this information along with the extensive geographic information available in the PSID survey, the article tracks the geographic locations of four generations of family members and considers the ways in which families and places are linked together over the course of a family’s history. The patterns documented in the article are consistent with much of the demographic literature on the Great Migration of black Americans out of the South, but they reveal new insights into patterns of black migration after the Great Migration. In the most recent generation, black Americans have remained in place to a degree that is unique relative to the previous generation and relative to whites of the same generation. This new geographic immobility is the most pronounced change in black Americans’ migration patterns after the Great Migration, and it is a pattern that has implications for the demography of black migration as well as the literature on racial inequality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-231
Number of pages23
JournalDemography
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Intergenerational migration
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography

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